Friday, July 25, 2008


dear catherine, jared, & megan,

i want to add this to the discussion:

i'm reading Wars, Threesomes, Drafts, & Mothers by Heriberto Yépez & found his statement on ethnopoetics.

and i am going to talk about poetics statements so here are a few things i was reading and considering in that context by Dodie Bellamy and Laura Moriarty and Johannes Göransson (thinking specifically of the "Poetics of Overdeterminacy" post)

so, sorry for the move to the meta, but all yesterday i kept thinking about ways of constructing discourse around poetics/project statements. i bothered claire on the phone w/it for much time. anyway, i worry that i sounded too flip/dismissive when i gave that off-hand mention of 'problems with having a poetics'. trying to think it through, i think the deal is more a tonal one for me, i appreciate in poetics statements or articulations of positions or whatever when there is a acknowledgment of other types of thinking.

i don't mean that people should say 'every way of thinking about poetry is equally the same'. actually, i was trying to articulate this to jared a while back, i like when the rhetoric of manifestos is over-the-top oppositional, because there's an element of performance and excess there that lets some air into the situation. (j and i evolved a short-hand for this element of excess in performance of a position. it's called robert duncan's cape. based on a cape worn by robert duncan.) i also appreciate when people articulate what is personal in the evolution of an aesthetic - what is personally being responded against.

Or when there is a sense of access to information being built up, for others to use. Like when Stephanie Young was talking about ways to bring 60s and 70s feminist art practice back into contemporary thinking - that seemed like an open question to excitedly glom onto - or what Joyelle McSweeney and Johannes Göransson do w/Action Books in giving access to all this work in translation. It's about a certain aesthetic, but also about bringing all this work into view. Seems to be also what Dale Smith might be doing in bringing all these strands like performance and ecology and conceptual poetry into his discussion of slow poetry.

In short, I like when there is effort made to puncture the mantle of authority that comes with 'having a position,' within the articulation of that position. I also think of Tyrone Williams' and Bhanu Kapil's talks at the SPT conference making that effort in different ways, I figure Andrew will have that panel up on his blog soon. I also don't think that that effort (to puncture one's own authority) is incompatible with support, even fierce support, of one's own position or with taking an ethical stance. I hope not anyway, maybe that's something we could talk about as I'm interested in that (possible) contradiction.

i hope this isn't taking us too far off-track. jared, you should totally return to slow cities or political art or any other topic. also hope what i'm writing isn't just belaboring the obvious...i just realized after writing my last post that i had done the annoying thing of writing some random complaint casually dashed off in...uh...'authoritative voice'. so trying to rectify in thinking about what i am thinking about.

xo, lauren

No comments: